There is no accommodation available for a teenager described as “troubled and dangerous”, a Judge has been told.
In a High Court hearing, High Court Judge Mr Justice Hayden said the case posed “a dilemma you would not expect to see in a mature society in 2017”.
‘F’, who is just 14, was placed in care back in June. He is from Southwark in central London. Experiences during his early childhood have left him with severe behavioural problems and psychiatrists believe he is at risk of developing personality disorders, mental health difficulties, drug abuse and crime as he gets older.
Described as “emotionally out of control”, F has already been found in a crack den in Peckham after absconding from his care home.
The Judge noted:
“There are real grounds for believing that he is involved in serious gangland activity and that he finds employment as a drugs courier.”
Even at his young age, F already has a conviction for the possession of knives, has been charged with robbery and even suspected of involvement in a rape.
F was eventually expelled from his care home after becoming involved in an angry row with another resident at 3am one night, during which F threatened the other boy.
Mr Justice Hayden noted:
“I fully accept that those working within the unit are genuinely afraid of F. He can be a very intimidating individual, although not always and not to everybody.”
At an emergency hearing, the Judge considered whether F was likely to injure himself or others if not confined to secure accommodation, concluding that this was indeed likely.
But, despite weeks of effort, social workers had been unable to find accommodation in a suitable secure facility he heard. The Judge explained:
“The situation has arisen where F cannot find accommodation of the type the court has deemed necessary to meet his interests and those of the wider public, nor can he remain in his present unit.”
Efforts would be continue, said the Judge, ordering a copy of his ruling to be sent to Education Secretary Justine Greening.
As head of the Department for Education, the latter is technically responsible for finding suitable accommodation in such cases.
In very a similar case earlier this month, Family Division President Sir James Munby warned that as a the nation we would have “blood on our hands” if suitable accommodation could not be found for a suicidal teen.
Photo by Horia Varlan under a Creative Commons licence